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Zuckerberg: Betting On HTML5 Was Facebook's Biggest Mistake 290

Posted by Soulskill
from the passing-on-the-mega-death-ray-may-have-been-wrong-too dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Speaking yesterday at TechCrunch Disrupt, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that the company's stock performance was disappointing. He also made an interesting remark about Facebook's development efforts over the past couple of years: 'The biggest mistake we made as a company was betting too much on HTML5 as opposed to native. It just wasn't ready.' According to Mashable, 'the benefits of cross-platform development weren't enough to outweigh the downsides of HTML5, which pulls in data much more slowly than native code, and is much less stable. ... Now, Zuckerberg says, Facebook is focused on continuing to improve the native mobile experience on iOS, as well as bringing a native app to Android.'"
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Zuckerberg: Betting On HTML5 Was Facebook's Biggest Mistake

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  • Correction... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by war4peace (1628283) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:11AM (#41311075)

    Zuckerberg meant: The IPO Was Facebook's Biggest Mistake.
    There, fixed that for him.

    • Re:Correction... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Grantbridge (1377621) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:16AM (#41311107)
      Hardly, the IPO was an amazing success for facebook. They managed to sell the company for twice the current market price! Anyone who had facebook shares before the IPO (which is who facebook was doing the IPO for) did rather well out of the deal.
      • by arth1 (260657)

        Hardly, the IPO was an amazing success for facebook. They managed to sell the company for twice the current market price!

        That doesn't mean it was a success for Facebook, only that it was a success for:

        Anyone who had facebook shares before the IPO (which is who facebook was doing the IPO for) did rather well out of the deal.

        Don't confuse the share holders with the company. Collect all the share holders and put them together, and they'll produce nothing. The value of the company is its assets (physical and intellectual), employees, customers and in true evolutionary spirit, its ability to adapt.
        The money the IPO brought increases assets short term, but long term, the investors want their money back, and more. Unless a company can continuously out

        • Re:Correction... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @09:10AM (#41311581) Homepage Journal

          Unless a company can continuously outgrow the investors' increasing demands, it will, in the end, get the short stick.

          So far practically everything on the web has been supplanted by something else. What's really and truly long-running, and in the No.1 spot? Has any of it occupied that spot since the beginning? The internet archive is still the first archive, but where is Hotbot? Where is IUMA? Who cares about Myspace? Are people still using Microsoft for email? Etc. (Lycos, Internet Archive, Apparently some musicians still, and only Microsofties, respectively... they're rhetorical questions you bastards.)

          • Re:Correction... (Score:5, Informative)

            by Piata (927858) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @10:20AM (#41312139)
            Ebay, Amazon and even Paypal have shown remarkable staying power. The web's still young, but as it ages sites tend to stick around longer and longer. It's going to take an awful lot to dethrone Facebook. I'm sure it will happen but that's the nature of business. Eventually every business either gets replaced or changes their business model to the point that you don't even recognize the company anymore.
            • Re:Correction... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by alexhmit01 (104757) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @10:29AM (#41312225)

              Google dominating for what, 8 years now?

              Our young geeks may NOT remember a time before Google, but there was a time where the "hot" search engine changed every two years, and there were new engines launching all the time.

              The Wild West phase of the Internet is over, but we're still on the frontier.

      • Hardly, the IPO was an amazing success for facebook. They managed to sell the company for twice the current market price! Anyone who had facebook shares before the IPO (which is who facebook was doing the IPO for) did rather well out of the deal.

        Actually they managed to sell the company at ten times the market price. The estimated value of the company according to valuation terms used in finance would have been $10bn and the company sold for over $100bn. The valuation is made on the basis of the profits a company is making and market price is a max of 10 times that so Facebook was a huge bubble when it had its IPO at 100 times the profits of the previous year. That said, the early stakeholders in FB made a great deal when the IPO was done.

    • Huh, why? Didn't it make him, you know, rather rich?

    • Re:Correction... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:20AM (#41311141)

      Zuckerberg meant: The IPO Was Facebook's Biggest Mistake.
      There, fixed that for him.

      You meant: The IPO Was Investors Biggest Mistake.
      There, fixed that for you.

      • Re:Correction... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by dnaumov (453672) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:31AM (#41311243)

        Zuckerberg meant: The IPO Was Facebook's Biggest Mistake.
        There, fixed that for him.

        You meant: The IPO Was Investors Biggest Mistake.
        There, fixed that for you.

        You meant: The IPO Was The Biggest Mistake of Speculators Trying to Get Rich Quick Off an IPO Pop.
        The investors who actually SOLD shares on the IPO made out like bandits.

    • by synapse7 (1075571) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:23AM (#41311169)
      I fully agree with you, making a billion dollars over night is terrible, absolutely terrible, I sure as hell wouldn't have done that.
      • I said the IPO was FACEBOOK's biggest mistake, not Mark's. If you don't see the difference, oh well...

    • by Shavano (2541114)
      The purpose of stock offerings is to raise money. It was a huge success. If you lost money on it that's because you paid too high a multiple on Facebook sales and profits.
      • The IPO debacle hurt Facebook's image as a company. Share prices expect to soar, they fell instead. Company image affected.

    • Making Facebook exclusively a teenaged time waste instead of giving it a single redeeming quality for business or professionals was probably a bigger mistake. When the fad ends, Facebook will inevitably go the way of MySpace.

  • Correction... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Huggs (864763) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:16AM (#41311103)
    "Zuckerberg: Betting On HTML5 Was Facebook's Biggest Mistake For The iOS App". Company-wise, their IPO certainly was a bigger mistake than using HTML5 in iOS.
    • Re:Correction... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rudy_wayne (414635) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:24AM (#41311181)

      Company-wise, their IPO certainly was a bigger mistake than using HTML5 in iOS.

      The IPO was inevitable and unavoidable. It was a bad idea, but it was inevitable and unavoidable.

      First, Facebook had already taken more than a billion dollars from investors, including half a billion from Goldman-Sachs alone. So that means that an IPO (aka pump and dump) was inevitable.

      Second, Facebook is the new MySpace and everyone knows it. An IPO (aka pump and dump) is the fastest way to cash in on the latest fad before the bubble pops.

      • by Conspire (102879)
        Wait, no matter how much money from whom.....I thought that one person had control......no? That was the claim
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Wait, no matter how much money from whom.....I thought that one person had control......no? That was the claim

          He who can destroy a thing controls it.

      • And the most important thing, the IPO put a LOT of money into facebooks own coffers. Facebooks IPO was a resounding success for the company. they sold out every share they were offering.

        The only thing the IPO was a mistake for were the speculators that thought it was a good idea to buy an overhyped stock that current available financial data was absolutely unable to justify the price they were asking.

        i could even link some of my past comments, saying how overvalued i thought it was. however i still don't

      • Apple is a far far far larger bubble than Facebook. Wait for that Mountain to pop. When the most valuable stock in the world belongs to what's basically a toy company, you know you've got a problem.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Sorry Apple has growth, billions in free cash flow, lots of cash on hand, significant IP and real property, and multiple income streams, both hardware, software, services and media/content and a so far very loyal userbase.

          Facebook has some cash flow financed by ads and market research, and shrinking usage in their primary markets.

        • Re:Correction... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Jack9 (11421) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @09:38AM (#41311817)

          > Apple is a far far far larger bubble than Facebook.

          Apple's net revenue doesn't match the sharp downward slope, that Facebook kept under wraps, until Facebook's IPO. Apple is not a bubble by the simple fact that there's almost no speculation involved. People who own an iPod will get the next iPod etc. Apple's income is not dependent on leveraging potential advertising monetization (read: we'll figure it out later). Google's income is derived from potential advertising profits, with a great track record, in stark contrast to Facebook's published metrics and inability to come up with a working profit model.

          • by poetmatt (793785)

            You think apple sales are consistent? You might want to look at what they admitted in the samsung vs apple case, in which they acknowledged that was not the case at all. People simply were not aware of alternatives and the lawsuit has raised this to people's attention.

          • Re:Correction... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by crashumbc (1221174) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @10:10AM (#41312057)

            Apple most certainly is a "bubble"... It's not going to burst though, its going to be a "slow" leak back into mediocrity. One of the reasons Apple is so involved in lawsuits is they see the writing on the wall. History repeats itself. (see the 80's and Apple vs PC's). Their "profits" are based off the insane prices they charge. They can charge that much because of the "perception" by the public that Apple products are that much better.

            The gap between iphone and the others (android,windows) is MUCH smaller then 2 years ago. There's still a perception of a much larger gap then really exists and that is being propped up isheeple AND the wireless carriers. That is what is keeping Apple's dominance "a float" right now. Carriers are so desperate for the "iPhone" that they are eating the insane premium Apple charges themselves, making it seem as though the iphone is comparable. That is changing though. In a year or so the price of a iphone compared to a Android of the same quality is going to double/triple. Once "Consumers" start seeing they'll have to pay 500 for a iphone of 150 for a Android that works as well or better... Repeat the PC market, Apple will slip back into being a niche company...

             

    • by hattig (47930)

      The fact is that Facebook's use of HTML5 was distinctly sub-par, thus making their apps incredibly frustrating to use. Losing all the data, no apparent caching, etc, on a platform that you are using on a mobile device that often loses connectivity. Madness.

  • by Elminster Aumar (2668365) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:19AM (#41311125)
    I wish that guy would take a hike... As for his comment, well, let's see him come up with a markup language standard that appeases every vendor while supporting every aspect of media delivery for users. That's not an easy task. Say what you want about the consortium, but what they did in the amount of time they did it in is rather impressive... These things are done in baby steps--but their efforts delivered more than this. Just because HTML5 might have wrinkles to iron out doesn't mean that it's a failed endeavor. Rather, it means that the browsers, companies behind said browsers, and the users have created a massive cluster of epic proportions. The consortium is just trying to make everything more accessible while accommodating for everyone. Again, not an easy task at all.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheSunborn (68004)

      The problem with html5 apps is javascript. That language is just not designed to delopment of huge applications.

      • by radio4fan (304271) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:25AM (#41311195)

        If that were really the problem in this case then the Facebook website would have exactly the same issues, and you'd have to download a Facebook client app for desktop use.

        The real problem is that browsers on mobiles still suck.

        • That's pretty much what PPK made of the comments, and there are few people that understand mobile browsers better than him. http://www.quirksmode.org/blog/archives/2012/09/facebooks_html5.html [quirksmode.org]
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Thing is, a web thing can have many of the things that we expect from a non-web application these days and usually do it well, things like drag and drop should work smoothly even on most portable platforms if the browser is worth one tenth of one crap.

          • by Shadow99_1 (86250)

            Chrome for Android actually does rather well, as does firefox for android... It's the default browser that has issues and really should have died with 4.0 (ICS) android, but instead it stays the default (for backwards compatibility) as much as it sucks. Ironically it was also the browser flash worked in up til the most recent android flavor (even Chrome couldn't use flash on a 4.0 setup).

            Facebook probably should have looked at how even Google has a native app for youtube on android and taken a similar route

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The problem is more complex than that: Mobile devices lack CPU grunt to do things which are easier to do on a desktop systems.
        Because of this the mobile OS builders concentrate what little CPU they do have to make sure their apps run the best as they can at the cost of anything else you may wish to run on top of that. In fact I think they even cripple Javascript on iOS to make sure the OS keeps ticking nicely, for example native scroll events take precendence over Javascript scroll events. I think the main

        • by jeffmeden (135043) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @09:02AM (#41311525) Homepage Journal

          The problem is more complex than that: Mobile devices lack CPU grunt to do things which are easier to do on a desktop systems.
          Because of this the mobile OS builders concentrate what little CPU they do have to make sure their apps run the best as they can at the cost of anything else you may wish to run on top of that. In fact I think they even cripple Javascript on iOS to make sure the OS keeps ticking nicely, for example native scroll events take precendence over Javascript scroll events. I think the main reason that flash was killed in iOS was because it was a closed source CPU hog that they couldn't cripple.

          The only thing that will change this for mobile development is more CPU power, which is difficult if we don't want to have personal hand warmers in our pockets.
          I don't have a problem with JS for application GUI development as long as there is enough juice to run it.

          I suppose that *is* a problem, but really the big thing that Facebook has screwed up in mobile is not having the infrastructure (server side) to push all content as updates to the app. Instead, each time a user wants to browse their wall, they have to download the whole flogging thing again. The absolute biggest threat to mobile experience is the actual content download itself, it requires the user to stand around and wait, and it eats battery like crazy. Twitter got this right, partly because that's the entire model of their service, but if you look at how well their app runs on mobile you kind of get tired of even tolerating Facebook at all.

      • by hattig (47930)

        Javascript isn't a real problem, it's the developers writing code using it. We're talking about a client application that is mostly doing REST/JSON calls to the main backend servers, and then displaying it in the correct place on the existing page, and persisting it to a HTML5 local DB. Except it didn't do the latter, and all too often lost even the in-memory cache of data, making the app a PITA to use, especially scrolling back in history.

        You only need to look at Twitter clients to realise that timeline-ba

      • The problem with html5 apps is javascript. That language is just not designed to delopment of huge applications.

        Javascript is not the problem. Plenty of big applications are done in Javascript. The problem is that iOS's implementation of Javascript is quirky, buggy, and almost impossible to debug. There in no error console in a UIWebView. Html5 audio is broken. Canvases don't work quite right. So you can't develop in a browser, and then deploy in an app, because they don't work the same.

        A conspiracy theorist might conclude that Apple is making html5 difficult intentionally, because it is against their interest f

    • by bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:34AM (#41311277) Homepage

      Not supporting the type of moble App Facebook were trying to write is a feature of HTML5 not a wrinkle to iron out.

    • by LordLucless (582312) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @09:22AM (#41311683)

      Just because HTML5 might have wrinkles to iron out doesn't mean that it's a failed endeavor. Rather, it means that the browsers, companies behind said browsers, and the users have created a massive cluster of epic proportions.

      So, basically, blame everyone but the people who wrote the spec? Sounds like the consortium's made up of entire middle-managers.

      HTML5 is the poster-child for designed-by-committee, slow-as-molasses processes that are out-paced by everyone else because, in the real world, things actually need to get done this decade, and the rest of us can't wait. HTML5 has been in development for eight years, and their current target is another two years before it becomes a Candidate Recommendation. Bearing in mind that they've already missed all their previous targets, Ian Hickson estimated that they'd have the requisite two, independent working implementations in 2022. That's eighteen years from start of development, 10 years from now.

      By the time the spec is completed, devices will have been forced to roll their own solutions, simply because the spec isn't done. Now, they might have some inter-operable features, if that aspect of the spec had been fully codified before they had to implement it, but that's precisely the situation we had in the Netscape v. IE browser wars - each had a somewhat common base, but were independently adding new features to try an improve the browser. The features they added were mutually incompatible because there was no common standard - and we're staring straight down that road again. It's a very clear example of perfect being the enemy of good.

      • by mounthood (993037) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @11:37AM (#41312983)

        HTML5 is the poster-child for designed-by-committee, slow-as-molasses processes that are out-paced by everyone else because, in the real world, things actually need to get done this decade, and the rest of us can't wait.

        HTML5 was compromise of existing implementations and small improvements, adopted because the XHTML standards were being ignored. Your rant is misdirected: HTML5 is a solution to the lack of standards progress, not a cause of it.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML5#History [wikipedia.org]

        • HTML5 was compromise of existing implementations and small improvements, adopted because the XHTML standards were being ignored. Your rant is misdirected: HTML5 is a solution to the lack of standards progress, not a cause of it.

          HTML5 was pushed through by the very same people who refused to implement the new XHTML standards. So, in that sense, it's a solution to the problem that they have created themselves.

  • by thogard (43403) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:19AM (#41311129) Homepage

    The w3c started out describing how web browsers worked and somehow they mistakenly decided they were a standards board. They still get ignored. They will always be ignored fro connivence.

  • For Mobile (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mlingojones (919531) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:19AM (#41311135) Homepage
    Ooooh. What the article MEANS is "betting on HTML5 as a MOBILE strategy instead of writing native SMARTPHONE applications was a mistake." That's much less broad. Also, as HTML5 is still in its infancy and not yet a finished standard, I think it's kind of early to make this statement.
    • by LordLucless (582312) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @09:25AM (#41311715)

      HTML5 is projected to be finished in 2022. By that stage, vendors will have adopted proprietary standards, not because they want to, but because the open standard was simply too damn slow to get done.

    • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

      Also, as HTML5 is still in its infancy and not yet a finished standard, I think it's kind of early to make this statement.

      Don't stop believing! Hold on to that feeling!

  • by markdowling (448297) <mark.dowling@NOSpam.gmail.com> on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:30AM (#41311227)

    So not any of FB's many privacy "mistakes" then?

  • by Qbertino (265505) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:36AM (#41311285)

    Zuckerberg isn't dumb. This judgement on the whole HTML 5 craze goes to show. Techwise HTML5/CSS3/Ajax is a huge step backwards compared to other approaches, like, for instance, Flash. Flash is proprietary and invites doing all kinds of non-sense (sic), but it *is* a far better x-platform VM.

    Going HTML5 is not to be triffled with and will bog down your systems performance way further than other VM solutions such as Java or Flash/AS. Any web developer worth his salt could have told Zuckerberg that.

    The "problem" (lets just call it that for now) here is that geeks, i.e. opinion leaders, are willing to make huge technological concessions if the technology is more open than the alternatives. Some devs would rather chop their right arm off than develop against (semi)prorietary systems like iOS or countless versions of Android. Hence we've got native looking apps, that are web UIs in disguise, slowpoking about at speeds we know from Windows 95 Applikations back in the day. I presume Zuckerberg got himself talked into this by his devleads, who are, just like any respectable geek, probably way more concerned with system openess and anti-lock-in development wise than with business critical performance and end-user experience issues. That's my guess anyway.

    You can say and think what you want about Zuckerberg and Facebook - I dislike the whole direction thinks have taken with this FB thing just as much as the next geek - but his conclusion is spot on. He's a developer himself and it's to his credit that he recongnises where his company bet on the wrong technology. You have to give him credit for that.

    My 2 cents.

    • by ledow (319597)

      Some would say that those who hedged their bets on HTML5 in the first place, especially from so early on, were the dumb ones and not the naysayers.

      To be honest - I don't see much advantage as a user (the last time I touched HTML seriously was just after CSS became popular, so I don't really speak as a developer here). Take Facebook for example - what do I get from all the fancy code that adorns those pages and slows down my browser (design decisions like Timeline aside)? I get little buttons to hide posts

    • by Karlt1 (231423)

      "Zuckerberg isn't dumb. This judgement on the whole HTML 5 craze goes to show. Techwise HTML5/CSS3/Ajax is a huge step backwards compared to other approaches, like, for instance, Flash. Flash is proprietary and invites doing all kinds of non-sense (sic), but it *is* a far better x-platform VM."

      So by going Flash for mobile one of two things would have happened....

      1) They would develop a Flash web app that didn't work on a platform that garners 65.9% of the mobile web traffic and was abandoned by Adobe for th

    • This is about mobile apps. They don't even HAVE Flash or other VMs on the iPhone. You either use HTML or write a native app.

    • by tgibbs (83782) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @09:13AM (#41311603)

      From the actual quote [tobie.me], it does not sound like Zuckerberg is really down on HTML5 overall. I think, rather, he is saying that the company invested too much time trying to optimize the HTML5 client for mobile clients, when the company was ultimately able to get better performance with less effort by developing native apps.

    • by Stiletto (12066)

      The "HTML5 vs. Native controls" nerd-war is currently being waged where I work, and for whatever reason, emotions really run high on this one. It's much uglier than Windows vs. Linux or whose text editor is best. It's a fight over whose skills are relevant. When half of your developers are HTML/Javascript people and the other half are Obj-C/C/Java (native) people, and a new mobile project is proposed, every tech lead makes passioned arguments that THEIR TEAM should get the project and that those other teams

    • by Atzanteol (99067)

      Zuckerberg isn't dumb. *HE* probably would have read the article before posting and realized this is about mobile apps and not the main Facebook.com web site.

  • Maybe I am being dense, but surely there is some way to optimise it. Better machine-specific interpretors, the kind of pre-execution optimisation that compilers do, anything....

  • I can understand why Zuck feels more comfortable on putting effort on the native mobile FB apps. AJAX has always been a hacky, bloated way to create interactive applications. I wish we had something more suited for the purpose.
    • I'm just glad that they're finally working on the issue. The Facebook apps for both iOS and Android were complete rubbish, and was often both faster and more reliable just to use the mobile version of the web site.

      The new iOS version of the app seems a lot more responsive. I hope that they do something similar for Android soon.

  • by LDoggg_ (659725) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:44AM (#41311363) Homepage
    "'the benefits of cross-platform development weren't enough to outweigh the downsides of HTML5, which pulls in data much more slowly than native code," Pulls in data much more slowly?

    Is he talking overhead of HTTP headers? Handshaking on websockets?

    The worst part of the facebook app has been the fact that when you load it up it wipes out the screen of any data you had last time, then pulls in a full new set over a crappy mobile network connection which very often timed out. Had the app cached (HTML5 localStorage?) postings and displayed what you already had, while trying to get new ones, it would have been much more useful.

    He can blame HTML5 all he wants, but poor design decisions could be made for any language and platform.
  • “When I’m introspective about the last few years I think the biggest mistake that we made, as a company, is betting too much on HTML5 as opposed to native because it just wasn’t there. And it’s not that HTML5 is bad. I’m actually, on long-term, really excited about it. One of the things that’s interesting is we actually have more people on a daily basis using mobile Web Facebook than we have using our iOS or Android apps combined. So mobile Web is a big thing for us.
  • by iBod (534920) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:48AM (#41311411)

    Anything that causes pain for Zuckerberg is fine by me.

    Yeah! Go HTML5!

  • by groovepapa (857180) * on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @09:00AM (#41311509) Homepage
    Does anyone remember the convoluted rambling of Dave Fetterman at f8 developer conference last year? No? Here it is again:
    http://www.readwriteweb.com/mobile/2011/09/how-facebook-mobile-was-design.php [readwriteweb.com]
    TL;DR:

    "So, how does this work? Project FaceWeb is an extension of this progressive enhancement idea. So, instead of the phone saying I am rendering for a WebKit browser, we send an agent that says you are going to be rendering for a WebKit UI WebKit view inside the iPhone app. So, what you have to do is detect that, style a Web code to make that work, build a bridge between the things that you want to write to interact natively with the Objective-C, say in Javascript, then build HTML pages for Facebook in the iPhone. So, you build much smaller native goop instead of having to build over and over again. ... HTML5 is probably the way that we should have done it."

    If you think that's an HTML5 approach, I have some lean agile behavior-driven coaching hours for which I'd like to bill you.

  • Blame? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theurge14 (820596) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @09:05AM (#41311549)

    Facebook is a webpage, not a 3D game that pushes the hardware. Is it possible he is blaming the technology for the failure of his coders? After all, we're talking about an app that when you viewed the comments on a photo you had to back out and come back several times in order for it to "refresh". Or sometimes clicking on a friend's name would take you to an entirely unrelated part of the app. And photos would take ages to load. Sometimes entering in a comment would work, sometimes it would say "you can't comment on something that doesn't exist" even though you could open up Facebook on a desktop computer and make a comment in the same place without a problem. I don't know of any other "webpage" app on the iPhone that performed that poorly, and granted I don't know what the Google+ app used but in comparison it blew the doors off of the Facebook app. Was it really the technology to blame?

  • HTML5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by interval1066 (668936) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @09:27AM (#41311721) Homepage Journal
    So that's it? Snotty but successfull kid declares html5 a toss and that's it? I've noticed a few other people making comments that they're disappointed by html5. Its a bit early to make that determination yet I think.
  • Well next time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anarchduke (1551707) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @09:27AM (#41311727)
    Do your homework and your HTML5 implementation wont suck.
  • Iunno, I found it ironic that when Flash first came out, it was a way to create and inbed animation and sound into a website with very little weight. I actually used to make Flash sites actually smaller than HTML ones with raster graphics.

    Then everyone decided to make Flash sites really heavy. Instead of going the route I thought it would go. The computers and the internet back then were too slow to handle those sites.

    Now that we have the bandwidth and computing power, everyone seems to be bashing on Fla

  • BlackBerry has had a native client since 2008 and it is solid. It ties in with BB's unified inbox and can interact with other apps like BBM if you choose to do so.

    Once again, iOS is 4 years behind.

  • by blackfrancis75 (911664) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @09:49AM (#41311891)
    Why would a billion dollar company bet on anything in this manner?
    If there was technical uncertainty before they embarked on the HTML5 route - why wouldn't they have done extensive feasibility testing before commencing? Lord knows they have the resources.
    FB isn't developed by dumb or naive people - unless there's a realistic answer to this, I guess we can only assume he's bad-mouthing HTML5 for his own (nefarious) purposes.
  • If he had been around awhile he would have known that when you hear "write once & run anywhere" that it may not be all it claims to be.

  • i call BS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shadowrat (1069614) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @10:44AM (#41312375)

    HTML5, which pulls in data much more slowly than native code

    How can this be? HTML5 is not relegated to some throttled network interface. the data all comes through the same pipe. I've made plenty of html5 implementations that had small streamlined exchanges of data with the server. My observations indicate that the facebook apps just pull in obscene amounts of unoptimized crap.

    Well, since it's facebook data, i guess no implementation can get around the fact that you are pulling down crap.

    • by uradu (10768)

      Actually from all my observations their Achilles heel is their slow-ass web services. Both the desktop and mobile web apps initially load quickly enough, it's the subsequent data pulls via web services to refresh GUI fragments that lag badly. Haven't checked the granularity of their services, but on mobile fine granularity is particularly bad because of the typically atrocious latency (although LTE is heaps better than HSPA). Regardless, even in the desktop site you can see these ws call latencies, when you

  • Really? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by xXShadowstormXx (939073) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:09PM (#41313249)

    Really? Betting on HTML5 was Facebook's biggest mistake? You sure about that?

  • by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:16PM (#41313323)
    You can usually tell an app which is implemented in HTML5 because it just doesn't behave the way a native app does. Either the fonts are wrong, or it feels sluggish, or the menus are different, or the keyboard is inappropriate for the context or it's just off in some other way. I'm not surprised at all that a company with the resources of Facebook struggles to unify all the disparate HTML5 implementations on all the disparate operating systems and devices. There are probably so many differences, glitches and performance issues that perhaps they may have been better off using some other technology.
  • by dave87656 (1179347) on Friday September 14, 2012 @12:44AM (#41331653)

    Zuckerberg didn't say HTML5 wasn't ready. They stuck in a mashable quote hoping to make it look like it was Zuckerbergs.

    Zuckerberg did say native but he was clearly talking about mobile apps (which are of course native).

    C'mon Slashdot, that kind of stuff really makes you look bad.

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